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No cash grant for 3rd child of police personnel

Jan 22 (DM) The Police Department has informed police personnel not to request the cash grant for their third child anymore because the funding for such a cash grant has not been allocated by the 2016 Budget. The previous Mahinda Rajapaksa government had in its 2012 Budget proposed the payment of a one-off cash grant of Rs. 100,000 to the third child of police personnel. This facility was enjoyed by armed forces through the previous year’s budget. more..

Police launch crackdown on suspected lesbians

Jan 22 (AM) In an unprecedented turn of events, Sri Lankan Police have launched a crackdown on suspected lesbians across the country. A suspected lesbian couple had been arrested in Avissawella by Police recently, after a trishaw driver tipped off the Police station. The couple, according to media reports, were waiting near the bus station. Police had detained and interrogated the couple on their alleged lesbian relationship. The move comes amidst calls from multiple NGOs and more..

'South Africa looking forward to sharing rich experience'

Jan 22 (AD) Sri Lanka’s acceptance back into the international community, post Geneva Resolution, is very obvious and it augurs well for island nation to take those opportunities and exploit them in an economic way, South Africa’s Ambassador Geoffrey Doidge said. Ambassador Doidge was responding to Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s query on how South Africa would partner in Sri Lanka’s new phase, more..

SLMC seeks info on doctors accused over kidney racket

Jan 22 (AD) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has sought information regarding the doctors who have been accused in connection with the Indian kidney transplant racket, from the respective private hospitals. Medical Council Registrar Dr Terance de Silva stated that the hospitals were notified in writing yesterday, however so far there have been no responses from the hospitals. Indian police have uncovered information regarding 6 Sri Lankan doctors from 4 private hospitals more..

Central bank seen holding rates steady

Jan 22 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady at record lows on Monday, a Reuters poll found, after it raised commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio (SRR) by 150 basis points from Jan. 16 in a bid to relieve pressure on the fragile rupee. Rupee closed at 144.00/144.20 per dollar on Friday, near its record low of 144.30, on importer dollar demand. Six out of 11 economists surveyed expected the Central Bank to keep the standing deposit facility more..

GMOA refuses to teach SAITM students

Jan 22 (DM) The GMOA today vowed to abstain from teaching medical students of unapproved medical colleges such as the SAITM who come to State hospitals for clinical training. Pledging their support for the ongoing Sathyagraha by undergraduates of the Ragama and Karapitiya Medical Faculties demanding the abolition of SAITM, the GMOA said it would in no way help medical students who have not been approved by more..

Eileen Siriwardhana’s funeral on Sunday

Jan 22 (DM) The funeral of late Kala Keerthi Eileen Siriwardhana will be held at the Borella cemetery at 11 a.m. on Sunday. The renowned writer and educationist, Ms. Siriwardhana passed away at the age of 87 at her residence on Wednesday. She served as the Principal of the Sumudra Devi Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo. Her novel Balan Harimi Kadaturuwa received the first ever D.R. Wijewardena award in 1984. Her remains lie in state at more..

Navy to form marine battalion

Jan 22 (Island) Sri Lanka is in the process of forming a marine battalion capable of fighting on land or sea. Authoritative naval sources told The Island yesterday that troops were currently being trained at Mullikulam, headquarters of the North Western Naval Command. Sources said the exclusive marine formation would be formed soon. Responding to a query, they said those who were with the patrolmen branch had been recruited into the new unit. Meanwhile, Navy Chief Vice Admiral more..

Joint Opposition writes to Inter-Parliamentary Union in Switzerland

Jan 22 (LBO) The Joint Opposition of the Parliament has sent a letter to Inter-Parliamentary Union seeking an opportunity to express their concerns on what they called jeopardy in smooth functioning of Sri Lanka’s Parliament. Among the issues they are to take up for discussion are the denial of opportunity for leaders of political parties to express their views and grave anomalies in composition of crucial parliamentary committees. more..

Nishantha Wickramasinghe summoned by PRECIFAC

Jan 22 (AM) Former Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickramasinghe and its former CEO Kapila Chandrasena have been summoned to the PRECIFAC on January 26. They have been summoned in connection with a complaint on several irregularities at SriLankan Airlines catering service. Wickramasinghe was summoned by the PRECIFAC in October 2015. However, he informed the commission that he was unable to attend at that time since he was abroad. more..

Sri Lanka co-hosts Coastline Erosion side event at the UN

Jan 22 (GDI) Ambassador Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN said that it is extremely timely to focus on coastline erosion, a problem that is common to every country with a coastline, and its impact on climate change, particularly in the context of the recently concluded Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Coastal erosion is a global phenomenon that poses grave environmental and economic challenges to more..

Govt accused of rolling back on commitment in Geneva

Jan 22 (CG) International Truth and Justice Project is deeply concerned that President Maithripala Sirisena appears to be rolling back on his commitment in Geneva to include international involvement in a future judicial mechanism. In an interview with the BBC yesterday, President reportedly stated, I will never agree to international involvement in this matter. This flies in the face of recommendation of UN High Commissioner more..

Commonwealth Observer Report

Jan 23 (CT) The report of the Commonwealth Observer Group on the Parliamentary Election on 17th August 2015 was released. At the outset The Report shows that it goes beyond its mandate to ‘monitor’ the Parliamentary Election of 2015. It analysis’ the ‘advantages of having elected a new President on 8th of January 2015’ for the democracy in this country. It further colored the event of the Presidential Election in the way that they imagined. For example, The Report says more..

Channel 4 at work again in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (CT) The British TV – Channel 4 which made the controversial documentary on Sri Lanka is once again at work. The documentaries published by Channel 4 were ardently challenged by the ousted MR administration for the credibility of its content, including the reading material such as Frances Harrison’s book, Still Counting the Dead. The then Ministry of Defence ruthlessly condemned these materials, as publications of utter falsehood. Nevertheless it is undeniable truth that more..

Waiting in the wings

Jan 23 (CT) SL politics is not ethical, but if it was I would have engaged in politics to serve the people in Rathnapura District, daughter of UPFA MP Premelal Jayasekara (alias Choka Malli), Shenali Jayasekara, said. Q: Will you follow your father's footsteps by engaging in politics? A: I have no intention in engaging in politics because as I see, SL political environment is not clean. If SL politics is clean, I don't mind engaging in politics. more..

On GLF and Evolving Culture

Jan 23 (GV) Last week saw the usually sleepy town of Galle come to life with the Galle Literary Festival. In a celebration of all things literary, Colombars descended upon the town for a dose of culture. And there were, indeed, some high points. The Festival has constantly been dogged with allegations of being overly elitist; with some of its lunches and dinner events being priced high enough to bar the average citizen (or indeed, resident of Galle) from entry. more..

Universities and autonomy

Jan 23 (NS) It has been reported that the govt was contemplating whether to give Vice Chancellors more autonomy to administer universities through the proposed new constitution. The idea seems to be to remove the political control and allow them to develop as independent institutions. Minister Lakshman Kiriella had expressed these views, addressing a recent workshop conducted under a World Bank assisted project titled Higher Education for the Twenty First Century. more..

Nehara’s tears and triumphs

Jan 23 (SO) I never thought my tears would stop. I have cried for years and months and days, unable to understand why there were so many trials in my young life. My tears cease only when I work. I have suffered so much that for me, suffering symbolises life. Yet, as the darkest night discovers its own light, I too have discovered mine. I am a poor woman, and you cannot imagine how poor I am. I come from Trinco District; more..

Wiggy’s right move at right time

Jan 23 (CT) At the end of last year the Tamil political scene faced a messy situation with the signs of fragmentation within the TNA despite the Alliance making a significant contribution in overthrowing the Rajapaksa regime and ensuring the new Coalition Govt's victory at the parliamentary election held last year. The TNA had not only succeeded in extending overwhelming support to overthrow the Rajapaksa regime, but also for the first time the TNA had even successfully lobbied the support of more..

Fertilizer subsidy: Where art thou?

Jan 23 (CT) The Maha season will soon be out the door and Yala is fast approaching. But, the govt is still in a quandary as to how they are going to fulfil the promises they made to the farmers with regard to fertilizer. Confusion reigns supreme when it comes to the fertilizer subsidy scheme, as no one, not even the President, it seems, is aware of what is going on. Recent reports of a possible fertilizer shortage in the country got the farmers, as well as all politicians in the govt worked up, more..

Prasanna Ranatunga

Constitutional reforms: What will the people decide?

Jan 23 (GV) The constitutional reforms proposed by the new govt have not been made public as yet, but already the likes of Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Dinesh Gunawardena from the opposition have started beating the communal drum. They appeal to the masses, to nip it in the bud and prevent the imminent division of the country, and the destruction of the people of sinha ley (Lion Blood) race and their religion a particular brand of Buddhism, they call Sinhala Buddhism more..

Ambassador discusses issues with Bahrain’s Energy & Health Ministers

Jan 23 (FT) Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Bahrain, Dr Saj Mendis, called on Minister of Energy, Dr. Abdul-Hussain Ali Mirza, who is also in-charge of Oil and Gas, and Electricity and Water in Bahrain to broach and to discuss avenues of closer cooperation and collaboration in the sphere of oil and petroleum between the two countries. Minister of Energy, particularly in Gulf countries such as in Bahrain, is considered as an extremely pivotal and seminal Ministry and Minister Dr. Mirza more..

Private Hospitals Association denies illegal kidney transplants

Jan 23 (FT) Following the Govt suspension of all foreign kidney transplants in Sri Lanka, the Private Hospitals Association yesterday denied any illegal activity and insisted all hospitals comply with “rigorous regulatory and legal procedures.” Earlier this week Indian Police nabbed the kingpin of a kidney racket in Telangana, on the charge of conducting an estimated 60 paid kidney transplants at private hospitals in SL. more..

Sri Lanka’s blind cricketers dazzle

Jan 23 (NS) Sri Lanka’s visually handicapped cricket team who are participating in the first ever T/20 Asia Cup Cricket tournament for the blind made a good start by winning their first two matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, India. In their first game against Bangladesh played on January 19, Sri Lanka won by a comprehensive nine wickets. Electing to bat first Bangladesh scored 129 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs. Suranga Sampath captured two for 28 runs. more..

Why are we so uneasy with peace?

Jan 23 (NS) Heading back home to Sri Lanka from a recent overseas trip, I happened to find myself seated to a very chatty gentleman on the aircraft. He told me he was from Israel and was visiting SL for the first time. He had lots of questions for me which I tried to answer helpfully. I had just one for him – Why Sri Lanka?. He looked at me almost scornfully as he proclaimed., It is the safest place in Asia at the moment. In one line, he summarized the current situation in the country. more..

Suspension of indoor nets project: Wettimuny hits out at SLC

Jan 23 (DN) Former Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny expressed shock and disappointment at the decision taken by the newly elected body of SLC to suspend the construction of indoor net facilities at three international cricket venues. "I am totally disappointed that such a project has been stopped. These are projects which cricket committee where Mahela Jayawardene, Michael Tissera, more..

Sri Lankan Special Children bring international honour

Jan 23 (DN) Eight SL special children (Intellectually disabled) participated in a South Asia Pacific Bocce tournament held in Brunei recently brought honour to Sri Lanka by winning three gold, 16 silver and five bronze medals. Four boys and four girls accompanied by two coaches at the tournament. They have battled with contenders from nine South Asian nations including India, Pakistan, Brunei Darussalam, Bangladesh, East Malaysia, West Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia & Nepal. more..

No purpose in amending Constitution: Bahu

Jan 23 (CT) Leader of the Nawa Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne said there will be no purpose in amending the Constitution, if it does not provide a solution to the ethnic issue while decentralizing power to the North-East as sought by the people of the two provinces. He told Ceylon Today that the government will be able to gain a majority if it holds a public referendum which in turn can provide a permanent solution to the vexed North-East issue. more..

Opening doors to the world

Jan 23 (FT) Making the most of his time at the World Economic Forum in Davos, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe conducted a slew of meetings with top industry moguls and politicians to market Sri Lanka to the world as an attractive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination. His key meetings included discussions with Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois on formulating a technology agreement more..

Amaraweera exposes secret deals

Jan 23 (DN) A group of people belonging to several parties other than the SLFP are having secret deals with the UNP. SLFPers are aware of this development, said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. He said President Sirisena had introduced several new programmes since assuming office. Among them was the reduction of President's executive powers which has gone further to plans of abolition of executive powers. Steps have also been taken to introduce a new system of elections. more..

Three New National Records Set

Jan 23 (CT) Three National Records were set on the second day when Niroshini Kumari from Rehab Lanka SC broke her own record set in 2003 in the 100M clocking with 30.1, while Amara Indumathi personnel best 28.40 (Rehab Lanka SC) and R.Tennakoon (25.50) from Vijeyabahu SC set records in the 200M Women's and Men's on the National Para Athletics Championship; worked off at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama. In the 100 M class 53 category event, more..

Politicians’ responsibility is to be committed to national goals: President

Jan 23 (PSL) “When solving the problems of the people, the responsibility of the politicians is to be committed to national goals without concentrating on the votes”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He requested the MPs to be dedicated to fulfill their responsibilities for the public properly in time, without thinking of the forthcoming Provincial Council Election and the Parliamentary Election to be held in five years. more..

Kidney racket kingpin’s associates still in Colombo

Jan 23 (Hindu) Six doctors of Sri Lanka practicing in Colombo and some Indian doctors working in different hospitals in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, will be questioned by police in the recently busted kidney racket. While the doctors in Colombo had performed surgeries related to transplantation of kidneys there, the doctors in Ahmedabad conducted diagnostic tests on the patients and donors. To take the case to the logical end, interrogation of the doctors in Colombo is necessary, more..

Another new tourney

Jan 23 (CT) Instead of the pre-planned SLC Elite Twenty20 Tournament, Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to play a new tournament, the SLC Super Provincial T20 -2016 which will be held from 26 Jan to 5 Feb with all matches scheduled to be played at Premadasa Stadium. Tournament will be played between five teams namely Colombo Commandos, Galle Guardians, Kurunegala Warriors, Hambantota Troopers and Kandy Crusaders. ve-teams based Super Provincial T20. more..

Politicos pay best rates for foreign girls

Jan 23 (NS) Sri Lankan politicians who visit high class brothels operating under the guise of Spas in Colombo city are reported to be paying the best rates for Russian, Thai and Indonesian women who are engaged in the oldest profession at those brothels, highly placed police sources revealed. Asked whether any ministers too were involved in the purchase of these women for sexual needs, a police spokesman said, more..

PTF seeks fast clay court in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (TN) Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) would request the SL tennis authorities to keep the clay court at which they play their tie against China in March fast and slippery. “The clay court in Colombo is close to the seaside and it was quite fast and slippery when we played against SL in 2013,” said Aqeel Khan. “But when we played against Kuwait last year the court was quite slow,” he added. The country’s top player added that the slow condition of that court would not suit them. more..

Can match-fixing claims affect next coach?

Jan 23 (NS) Match-fixing scandals that have rocked the governing body for cricket in Sri Lanka, SLC, would be seriously considered by any individual who plans to take over the reigns as national coach. At present cricket in SL is under a storm of controversy. FCID got Angelo Mathews to make a statement regarding alleged match fixing claims and two other cricketers Kusal Janith Perera and Rangana Herath to make statements following reports that they were approached by bookies. more..

Crises in Muslim politics

Jan 23 (NS) Crossover crisis now seem to emerge with regard to Sri Lanka’s two main Muslim parties, SLMC and ACMC. The disillusionment of both the party secretaries, the SLMC’s M.T Hassan Ali and ACMC’s, former General Secretary Y.L.S. Hameed are due to the failure of the respective party’s leadership to not consider them for nomination to Parliament via the party’s respective National List slots. more..

EDEX Expo 2016 Education & Job Fair opens

Jan 23 (ITN) EDEX Expo 2016 Education Exhibition and Job Fair opened at the BMICH today (22). Its opening took place under the patronage of Minister Gayantha Karunatilake. This Education Exhibition and Job Fair will continue until Sunday the 24th. Deputy Ministers Karunartne Paranavithana and Eran Wickremaratne were among those who joined in the opening of the event under the auspices of Minister Gayantha Karunatilake. With a focused career guidance programme that includes more..